(HealthDay)—Preoperative pregabalin is superior to either gabapentin or placebo for the relief of pain in patients undergoing lumbar discectomy, according to a study published in the March 15 issue of Spine.
Gurjeet Khurana, M.D., from HIHT University in Dehradun, India, and colleagues compared 300 mg of gabapentin (Group A), 75 mg of pregabalin (Group B), or placebo (Group C) in 90 patients (aged 18 to 75 years) undergoing spinal surgery. One dose was given one hour before surgery and at eight hour intervals for seven days afterwards. Postoperative static and dynamic pain and functional outcome were assessed using a visual analogue scale, the Prolo functional and economic score, and the Oswestry Disability Index score, both preoperatively and three months postoperatively.
The researchers found that subjects receiving pregabalin showed consistently reduced static and dynamic pain intensity and also required a lesser amount of rescue drug throughout the postoperative period. At all time intervals there was a statistically significant difference (P < 0.05) in the Prolo score and the Oswestry Disability Index score between group B and group C. There was a significant difference in the functional outcome between group A and group B at three months.
"Preoperative pregabalin administration is associated with less pain intensity and improved functional outcomes three months after lumbar discectomy followed by gabapentin and then placebo," the authors write.